The Carolina-Tennessee Power Company, a public utility, was incorporated by a private law of North Carolina with broad powers, including that of taking by eminent domain riparian lands of and water rights in any non-navigable stream of the State. It filed locations for two hydro-electric plants on the Hiawassee River and proceeded to acquire by purchase and by condemnation the lands and water rights necessary for that development. Thereafter the Hiawassee River Power Company was organized under the general laws of the State and threatened to locate and develop on the river hydro-electric plants which would necessarily interfere with the development undertaken by the Carolina-Tennessee Company. The latter brought in the Superior Court of Cherokee County a suit in the nature of a bill to quiet title. The case was tried in that court with the aid of a jury. Many issues of fact were raised and many questions of state law presented. A decree entered for the plaintiff below was reversed by the Supreme Court of the State and a new trial was ordered (171 N. Car. 248). The second trial resulted also in a decree for plaintiff below which was affirmed by the state Supreme Court (175 N. Car. 668). The case comes here on writ of error.
The federal question relied upon as giving jurisdiction to this court is denial of the claim that the private law incorporating the Carolina-Tennessee Company is invalid, because it conferred upon that company broad powers of eminent domain, whereas the general law, under which the Hiawassee Company was later organized, conferred no such right; the contention being that thereby the guaranty of the Fourteenth Amendment of privileges and immunities and equal protection of the laws had been violated. But this claim was not presented to nor passed upon by the
If a general statement that the ruling of the state court was against the Fourteenth Amendment were a sufficient specification of the claim of a right under the Constitution to give this court jurisdiction (see Clarke v. McDade, 165 U.S. 168, 172; Capital City Dairy Co. v. Ohio, 183 U.S. 238, 248; Marvin v. Trout, 199 U.S. 212, 217, 224), still the basis for a review by this court is wholly lacking here. For the Fourteenth Amendment was mentioned only in the trial court. In the Supreme Court of the State no mention was made of it in the assignment of errors; nor was it, so far as appears by the record, otherwise presented to or
We have no occasion, therefore, to consider whether the claim of denial of rights under the Fourteenth Amendment was of the substantial character which is required to support a writ of error. Equitable Life Assurance Society v. Brown, 187 U.S. 308, 311. Compare Henderson Light & Power Co. v. Blue Ridge Interurban Ry. Co., 243 U.S. 563.
Dismissed for want of jurisdiction.